Landmark PennDOT Bridge Project Becomes Reality with Help of Precast Concrete

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The Interstate 78 project in Berks County utilized innovative construction practices and precast materials to reduce the project schedule from several months to several weeks.

One of the bridges that was part of PennDOT's landmark project along I-78 in Berks County

Each bridge, which normally takes up to 8 months to complete, was completed in an average of 43 days.

Capturing the essence of the Every Day Counts initiative that is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) District 5-0 hit a grand slam by initiating, awarding and successfully completing a landmark project featuring multiple bridges designed and constructed with precast concrete materials. The project took place along Interstate 78 (I-78) in Berks County and utilized innovative construction practices, along with precast materials, to reduce the project schedule from several months to several weeks.

PROJECT OVERVIEW
From footings to decks, all six bridges that were part of PennDOT’s I-78 project were completely designed and constructed with prestressed and precast concrete members. The precast producer for the project was PENNSTRESS, located in Roaring Spring, PA. PENNSTRESS is a producer member of PCI Mid-Atlantic, a chapter of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI).

The project also utilized accelerated bridge construction practices including the innovative Precast Bridge Element System (PBES), which significantly reduced the duration of the project. Each bridge, which normally takes up to 8 months to complete, was completed in an average of 43 days.

To put the six-bridge project schedule into better perspective, District 5-0 reduced the duration of construction impact (from road closure to open for traffic) from approximately 48 months (4 years) to just 259 days (8.5 months).

PRECAST SOLUTION
The bridges cumulatively totaled 540 prestressed and precast concrete components that were contained in 687 linear feet of bridge averaging a 115 FT span length.

A time-lapse video of one of the I-78 bridges being built can be viewed at http://www.pci-ma.org. The bridge featured in the video is SR 0183 (Bernville Road) and was the final erected structure of the six-bridge project.

For technical resources about the use of precast/prestressed concrete in bridge construction, click here.

PROJECT AT-A-GLANCE
Owner: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, District 5-0
Design Team: Benesh, JMT, AECOM, Erdman Anthony, AWK and Susquehanna Civil, Inc.
Contractor: HRI, Inc.
Precast Producer: PENNSTRESS
Erector: High Steel Erectors
Total Precast Used: 540 prestressed and precast components contained in 687 linear feet of bridge, averaging a 115 FT span length

ABOUT PCI MID-ATLANTIC
PCI Mid-Atlantic, a chapter of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI), is a professional marketing organization committed to the growth and greater profitability of the Precast Industry in the Mid-Atlantic region. It is comprised of prestressed/precast producer member firms located throughout the Mid-Atlantic States, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. PCI Mid-Atlantic also has over 50 associate member companies that produce a variety of concrete industry related products. For more information, visit http://www.pci-ma.org.

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Kae G. Wagner
North Star Marketing
+1 717-392-6982 Ext: 1
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